The effects of stream canopy management on macroinvertebrate communities and juvenile salmonid production in a chalk stream

Authors

  • W. D. RILEY,

  • M. G. PAWSON,

  • V. QUAYLE,

  • M. J. IVES


  • This article, The effects of stream canopy management on macroinvertebrate communities and juvenile salmonid production in a chalk stream was written by W. D. Riley, M. G. Pawson, V. Quayle & M. J. Ives of Suffolk, UK. It is published with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland.

William D. Riley, The Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science, Lowestoft Laboratory, Pakefield Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 OHT, UK (e-mail: bill.riley@cefas.co.uk)

Abstract

Abstract  The effects of changes in shading (through riparian canopy removal and re-growth) on juvenile salmon, Salmo salar L., trout, Salmo trutta L., and grayling, Thymallus thymallus (L.) populations, and macroinvertebrate biomass and species composition in a chalk stream in southern England were examined. Low levels of in-stream weed growth, because of shading by closed tree canopy, diminished macroinvertebrate production and diversity. 0+ salmon and trout had lower densities under closed canopy, relative to adjacent open sites with substantial weed cover, where fish were also found to be larger. Canopy removal positively affected the growth of aquatic macrophytes and the availability of potential prey for juvenile salmonids. The findings have implications for the management of chalk streams, in particular, that riparian tree canopy should be managed to prevent complete closure, and excessive cutting of weed should be avoided where salmon production is below sustainable levels.

Ancillary